Capitalism Without Being…

There is only one way to escape the alienation of present-day society: to retreat ahead of it. – Roland Barthes, The Pleasure of the Text


This powerful statement by Barthes, even, unintentionally, is thetic of ‘accelerationism‘, the position that deliberates on the generation of forces of dissolution as an inherent property of capitalism calling forth to be radically challenged. How could this be achieved without falling into the trap of drawing endlessly vicious circles of positioning the subject of revolt as always peripheral to capital? One contingent solution lies in rehabilitating this subject of revolt in relation to capital, such that, the immense circuit of capitalist exchanges makes room for the possibility of coming-into-existence of all modalities of jouissance, with none of them suffering the fate of getting ostracized (marginalized). This very well echoes Lyotard’s position as stated in his Libidinal Economy.

My interest lay in connecting this rehabilitation with speculative realist stance, which would lock away the correlationist (thinking and being as tightly coupled) side, and appreciate the elevation of thinking capitalism as it would be in-itself. If, one perceives capitalism as a gigantic productive machine, without any relation to the human, one is successful in jettisoning the possessiveness involved therein, as in, capitalism-for-humans, as either putative or pejorative. Capitalism then, as a colossal producing machine, becomes inorganic, and calls for a traction along non-anthropocentric lines. Such a reading creates ruptures within the Marxian discourse, where, speculating on capitalism in-itself is either not permissible due to the tenets of his labour theory of value, or, if at all undertaken, epitomizes levels of insanity. Whereas, capitalism as inorganic, construes speculation to be of highest value. Supplementing this theme, is the DeleuzoGuattarian notion of capitalism-as-proces, where a switch from concrete-ness to processuality invests the onus of housing a true nature of capitalism as shifting  from basic building blocks, such as, forms of alienation to telos (destination) of the process.

The prescription is a call to embrace capitalism, in order to be liberated from the polarities of agonizingly devaluing post-modernism, and increasing bankruptcy of the ideologies of liberal democracy. Such a liberation might create frameworks of naivete, which would subsequently be liquidated with the emergence of inhuman subjectivation in the face of relentlessly indefatigable capitalism. For such emergence to be brought about, the embracing of capitalism would obligate the dissolution of animated ideologies that drive corporate assemblages on the one hand, and mass-based power structures (states, civil societies etc.) on the other. Such a dissolution, in the words of Alex Williams would usher in an absolutization of an adequation of post-human subjectivity to capital, and in turn would also carry a caveat akin to revolution eating its own children. One way to safeguard from this caveat is to go back to Deleuzian notion of metabolic rate within capitalism through the vestiges of Foucauldian ‘man’ that derives its dependency on the analytic of finitude while attempting to face up to the relentless brutal force of capitalism. This not only negotiates the falling back into the already experienced conservative subjectivation, but also formulates a novel theorizing accounting for the expansive nature of capitalism, homeostatically arresting the realization of pernicious potentials of capitalism.

Nothing would obviously prevent from thinking about such a form of realized capitalism as fantasy. Williams invokes the Badiouian fiction with its potency to bring about a completed truth, and in turn actualize its own reality. This invocation is required to undertake a radical new reading of the friction generated in balancing the deterritorializing/reterritorializing axiomatic within capitalism, a position that is not adversative to the real praxis built upon the system. The re-reading departs from Nick Land’s, where any deterritorialization sends an immediate reterritorialization into oblivion. Importantly, what is required is a firm belief in the negativity harbored in capitalism, through an accelerationist reading to safeguard the critique of the left on one hand, and the praxis of the right on another. This would not only maintain Deleuzean becoming sans affirmation, but equally legitimize capitalism’s colossal machinic status in tune with Lyotard’s observation (above), thereby expounding what is truly adequate to capitalism-in-itself.

How would an accelerationist reading differ from another communist revolution-in-the-making? The idea propounded by Williams is most suitable, for, accelerationism, in a weak sense, would be opposed to ameliorative leftism by acting to foreground the structural privations of the capitalist system, and accelerationism in its strong sense would mutate the system itself rather than getting engulfed in the euphoria of capitalism’s downfall. It is precisely in the strong sense of the word, accelerationism would talk about capitalism as inorganic, or as nullifying the subjectivity, or even for that matter, resemble as effectuating inhumanism. This inhumanism, or inhuman becoming poses the  problematic of grounding politics. In other words, with speculative realism as a tool, an un-correlated philosophical system at place would find its grounding on to the correlated domains of political system quite misfitting.

To circumvent this problematic, either through taking recourse to Deleuzean notion of capitalism as a system of deterritorializing/reterritorializing flows, or some sort of dialectical movement, with the haunting of de-subjectivation, if at all attainable, this could only be made so through the trace of what praxis seeks to eliminate….

But, then this is only a dream now with no academic ambitions to pursue. Fictionalised.

5 thoughts on “Capitalism Without Being…

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